CBC Literary Prizes

And a River Went Out of Eden by M.W. Cook

M.W. Cook has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for And a River Went Out of Eden.

2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

M.W. Cook is a writer based in Toronto, Ont. (Ruth Cook)

M.W. Cook has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for And a River Went Out of Eden.

About M.W.  

M.W. Cook was an evangelical preacher and missionary until he had a crisis of faith. Now he lives in Toronto with his wife and children, finishing a belated education at the University of Toronto and writing as if his income depends on it.

Entry in five-ish words

Missionaries in Sindh on Ashura.

The story's source of inspiration

"This is part of a collection of stories about a missionary family. And a River Went Out of Eden is reminiscent of my time in Kunri, where there was a beautiful garden in a hospital compound and the yearly Ashura procession would culminate in the intersection below my apartment."

First lines

Ajoti McClelland woke as the ceiling fan died. Tom sprawled beside her, pale and thin in sweat-stained trousers. The light outside was grey and hot. It was Sunday. Tom had been asked to preach at the hospital church in Kunri. It was also Ashura. They'd come the night before because it was better not to travel on holidays.

Dust stuck to Ajoti's feet as she padded across the room, mumbling a prayer for the power to return before it got too hot. The children slept by the far wall. Aishwarya was on her stomach, arm hanging off the cot, her knee on the floor. Haroon was curled on a cot too short for him, cocooned in a thin blanket. Ajoti rolled Aishwarya over, and went for a cool shower.

When she came out, Tom was brushing his teeth in the sink by the door. He spat and said good morning without looking up, and hurried into the bathroom. The ceiling fan groaned and began to turn. Ajoti pulled open the curtains. She told the children not to be late and went outside.

About the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books


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